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Dec. 20, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The final year of Head Football Coach Ralph Friedgen's contract will be bought out by the University of Maryland Department of Athletics, Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson announced Monday afternoon. The buyout is effective January 2nd, 2011, and will cover all of the approximately $2 million in guaranteed compensation and benefits owed to Friedgen through January 2nd, 2012. The nationwide search for his successor will begin immediately.
"I sincerely thank and commend Ralph for his decade of good work as Maryland's Head Football Coach as well as his and his wife Gloria's efforts on behalf of his alma mater over the last ten years," said Anderson. "The decision to honor the financial terms of Ralph's current contract, while moving immediately forward with a national search for the best coach to lead Maryland football into the future was not an easy one. I am confident it was the right business decision for our long term strategy to move Maryland Athletics from good to great."
Friedgen will officially be under contract through, and will coach the Terps in, the December 29th Military Bowl against East Carolina. It will be Maryland's seventh bowl appearance under Friedgen, who is a two-time ACC Coach of the Year (2001, 2010). Friedgen ranks third in school history in career victories and fourth in winning percentage (.597). Friedgen's 74 wins rank 10th on the Atlantic Coast Conference all-time list.
The monies necessary to fulfill Friedgen and the current coaching staff's contracts will be paid entirely by the Department of Athletics, a self-support unit of the University that receives no public funding and must generate all of its revenue. No state funding will be used. As with all of its operational and salary expenses, Maryland Athletics will cover the necessary costs through revenue generation, private fund-raising and strategic business decisions.
"The decision I reached this weekend is about our vision forward as well as solidifying the infrastructure of our football coaching staff and our recruiting efforts for the long-term," said Anderson. "Even in the difficult economic times the University and Athletic Department are currently facing, I no longer believed allowing a head coach to enter the final year of his contract was the best decision for moving our football program consistently into the Top 25."
A search committee appointed by the University will begin its work of identifying the right candidate to take Maryland football into the next decade this week. The University also expects to hire a search firm to assist in the process.